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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Valverde cleared for World Champs
Alejandro Valverde
Valverde was third in last year's World Championship road race
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde has been cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to compete in the World Championships.

Valverde was originally banned by the International Cycling Union because of his possible implication in the Operation Puerto doping investigation.

The Spanish Cycling Federation opposed the UCI's ruling but it was agreed that the CAS should make the final verdict.

"We accept the decision," confirmed UCI president Pat McQuaid.

"It's not good news. It's disappointing but I wouldn't say it was such a big blow."

Valverde is now set to co-lead the Spanish line-up along with former world champion Oscar Freire in Sunday's men's elite road race.

Cycling needs some fairer and clearer rules to avoid other people having to experience what I have experienced

Alejandro Valverde

Australian rider Allan Davis has also been cleared to race after he filed for a hearing with CAS in a similar case.

Valverde expressed his relief at being able to race but questioned some of the methods employed in his case.

"The riders are being used in a war of interests between organisations and it's about time everyone who loves cycling stepped forward to defend it," he said.

"There has to be a clean-up but without discrimination.

"Cycling needs some fairer and clearer rules to avoid other people having to experience what I have experienced."

However, Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca may be barred from competing because of an ongoing investigation.


The UCI sent doping tests from May's Giro to the Italian Olympic Committee's (Coni) anti-doping prosecutor on Wednesday and Di Luca could be given a three-month precautionary ban.

Di Luca denies any wrongdoing but McQuaid said: "CONI are doing what they're doing and if the information we have given them is enough to open a disciplinary case we'll stop him from competing."

McQuaid also said he was "angry and annoyed" at reigning world champion Paolo Bettini for not signing an anti-doping declaration, although the declaration is not mandatory.

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